Intel To Discontinue Boxed 13th Gen Core CPUs for Enthusiasts

In an unexpected move, Intel has announced plans to phase out the boxed versions of its enthusiasts-class 13th Generation Core ‘Raptor Lake’ processors. According to a product change notification (PCN) published by the company last month, Intel plans to stop shipping these desktop CPUs by late June. In its place will remain Intel’s existing lineup of boxed 14th Generation Core processors, which are based on the same ‘Raptor Lake’ silicon and typically carry higher performance for similar prices.

Intel customers and distributors interested in getting boxed versions 13th Generation Core i5-13600K/KF, Core i7-13700K/KF, and Core i9-13900K/KF/KS ‘Raptor Lake’ processors with unlocked multiplier should place their orders by May 24, 2024. The company will ship these units by June 28, 2024. Meanwhile, the PCN does not mention any change to the availability of tray versions of these CPUs, which are sold to OEMs and wholesalers.

The impending discontinuation of Intel’s boxed 13th Generation Core processors comes as the company’s current 14th Generation product line, ‘Raptor Lake Refresh’ is largely a rehash of the same silicon at slightly higher clockspeeds. Case in point: all of the discontinued SKUs are based on Intel’s B0 Raptor Lake silicon, which is still being used for their 14th Gen counterparts. So Intel has not discontinued producing any Raptor Lake silicon; only the number of retail SKUs is getting cut-down.

As outlined in our 14th Generation Core/Raptor Lake Refresh review, the 14th Gen chips largely make their 13th Gen counterparts redundant, offering better performance at every tier for the same list price. And with virtually all current generation motherboards supporting both generation of chips, apparently Intel feels there’s little reason to keep around what’s essentially older, slower SKUs of the same silicon.

Interestingly, the retirement of the enthusiast-class 13th Generation Core chips is coming before Intel discontinues their even older 12th Generation Core ‘Alder Lake’ processors. 12th Gen chips are still available to this day in both boxed and tray versions, and the Alder Lake silicon itself is still widely in use in multiple product families. So even though Alder Lake shares the same platform as Raptor Lake, the chips based on that silicon haven’t been rendered redundant in the same way that 13th Gen Core chips have.

Ultimately, it would seem that Intel is intent on consolidating and simplifying its boxed retail chip offerings by retiring their near-duplicate SKUs. Which for PC buyers could present a minor opportunity for a deal, as retailers work to sell off their remaining 13th Gen enthusiast chips.

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